Below is a letter and supporting materials from Robin Rudisill
The negative campaigning and harassment of me bye the Jim Murez slate and supporters is unacceptable and defamatory and it must be stopped. Character assassination and libel are illegal.
In this regard, please review the attached letter from me setting the record straight on the Venice Current June 1st article’s smear campaign against me during the VNC election as well as the attached letters from the Chief Counsel of the California Coastal Commission and the Law Offices of Amanda Seward.
For the Love of Los Angeles
and our precious Coast,
Setting the Record Straight on the Venice Current June 1st Article’s Smear Campaign Against Me During the VNC Election
It was very concerning to see the clear lack of sourcing and outright fabrications in editor Jamie
Paige’s June 1st Venice Current article, which was clearly libelous and meant to harm my
reputation. I’ve requested that she make the necessary corrections and set the record straight, and
as of this writing she has not done that so I must do so myself.
Paige contacted me for a comment at 2 pm the day before the publishing of the article and I did not
respond to her request immediately for two reasons.
First, Jamie led me to believe that the article she was writing was about an appeal and my work
with Citizens Preserving Venice (CPV), of which I am an officer. She said the article was being
published the next morning. That evening, I emailed her suggesting that it would be great if we
could talk after the appeal hearing that was taking place the next day because it would be more
interesting to talk about the project after the City’s decision. I told her I would contact her
then. I wasn’t concerned about making a statement regarding CPV’s appeal as there was nothing I
could add to everything that had already been said until after the appeal hearing, when there would
be new information to which to react. But what Ms. Paige did not tell me was that the story would
mainly focus on the alleged cost of appeals and alleged violations related to my property. In fact,
the topic of the appeal hearing that she referenced in her email to me had the least focus of all
of the topics in her article.
Second, if she had really wanted my input for her article and if she had wanted to make sure her
sources were factual she would have contacted me much sooner and not at the end of a holiday
weekend, just a few hours before she was submitting her article for publication. This was way too
extensive and accusatory an article to rush through without both sides interviewed, without
checking the facts, and without proper sourcing. It doesn’t make sense that Jamie Paige would take
the risk in publishing an article like this that is libelous and could harm reputations, now
subject to an investigation by the Attorney General, without taking the time to verify the accuracy
of the information she was provided, espe lk to
her and she could have easily
delayed the article for a few hours.
Jamie Paige attributed what is proven to be a fake “investigation report,” and various quotes
within that fake report, to the Coastal Commission and its Executive Director, Jack Ainsworth. This
was a fraudulent investigation report on which she relied, and not only did she not provide the
source for that fake report, she also did not verify the information. The Chief Counsel of the
California Coastal Commission (CCC) sent a letter to Jamie Paige demanding an immediate retraction
to remove the fake report and false statements attributed to the CCC and demanding public
acknowledgement that the statements attributed to them were both false and misleading. Paige did
take the statements attributable to the CCC out of the article, but she did not acknowledge that
the statements were false and misleading, as was requested by the CCC. The Chief Counsel of the
CCC has forwarded the matter to the Attorney General’s office for investigation.
In addition to being libelous towards the CCC and towards its Executive Director Jack Ainsworth,
because the article was also libelous towards me my lawyer also wrote Jamie Paige a letter on my
behalf, explaining that many of her statements were erroneous or misleading and demanding
that the false statements specified be retracted immediately and that the retraction be published
in substantially as conspicuous a manner as were the false statements, as required by law. As of
the writing of this letter, Jamie Paige has not made the corrections requested by my attorney.
The article is full of false information, facts were not checked, and there is a lack of sourcing.
I will highlight the errors with some of the article’s main points:
- Jamie Paige’s headline falsely charges that I and Citizen’s Preserving Venice (CPV) were
costing the city millions. She stated that each appeal costs $150,000.
• She did not provide the source for this cost information, which is entirely false
and gross hyperbole.
• The City has reported that an appeal costs $13,538, which was also reported in the
LA Times by investigative reporter Emily Alpert-Reyes:
- Jamie Paige’s article stated that I am an appellant in the appeal of a project at 811-815
Ocean Front Walk and that in 2014 CPV filed an appeal regarding this project. Once again, she did
not verify the facts.
• I am not an appellant on that appeal and in 2014 CPV did not even exist.
• The article also states that a 2014 plan for the project received a “nod” from the
City, yet the article overlooked the fact that the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission found
the project unlawful at that time and denied the project.
- Regarding the assertions about complaints related to my property, I own a duplex on Ocean
Front Walk that is in a commercial zone and I was not required to make changes related to
short-term rentals, home sharing, or illegal occupancy re. the anonymous complaints detailed in the
• Jamie’s article relied on an October 14, 2014 document called the “investigation
report.” This document is a fake, and was made to look like a valid city document, using the same
format as that of a City Planning staff report. The City and State reports approving my 2007
remodel (seven years prior) were attached to it and made a part of the fake report. The officials
who were sent the fake investigation report knew that it was a fake, completely ignored it, and I
was not contacted by any of them.
• The fake report was sent out by its anonymous author in October 2014 not long after
I won over Jim Murez in the VNC election in June 2014 to become the Land Use & Planning Committee Chair, which was a contentious election. Also, Jim Murez is the lone
commenter on the fallacious article smearing me:
Again, it is concerning that Jamie Paige did not provide the source for the fake report and did not
verify its validity, and that it was aimed at a member of the slate of candidates running against
the Jim Murez slate.
• The 2018 anonymous complaint Paige also mentioned included the same accusations as
in the anonymous 2014 fake investigation report, and it was determined by the city inspector that
there were no changes required to my duplex re. occupancy, electrical wiring or plumbing; the only
result of the anonymous complaint was that I had removed a small closet and I enclosed a small
sleeping loft (as it did not meet the height requirement for a loft).
- Jamie Paige also reported that CPV had been sent a notice regarding delinquent paperwork
needed to maintain its nonprofit status. The notice merely said the group had 60 days to file
additional paperwork and the filing took place within the 60-day period, with no penalty.
- Jamie Paige indicates the supposed number of appeals I’ve participated in but overlooks that
community members have relied on my expertise and have sought my help to fight projects that they
don’t want in their community because the projects, in their view, are not in compliance with the
character and scale of their neighborhood and/or because they are not in compliance with affordable
housing laws and displace their neighbors, such as in the case of the appeal of the 742 Brooks
project that was mentioned in the article. That project was strongly opposed by the neighborhood
and strongly recommended for denial by the Venice Neighborhood Council. Yet Jim Murez strongly and
vociferously supported the project and was very involved in helping the developer get the project
approved and in defending it. It should be noted that no appeal has personally benefited me or been
for my own personal gain nor have any been deemed frivolous.
- Jamie Paige includes statements from Dario Rodman-Alvarez from Pacific Urbanism alleging that
appeals result in the displacement of residents, a decrease in density, the suppression of housing
supply and increase the homelessness rates.
These claims are highly questionable. Most appeals and certainly the appeals filed by me and by CPV
attempt to preserve the character of Venice, protect affordable housing, prevent the displacement
of residents of Venice, and seek to maintain density, fighting developers who want to demolish
four-unit multi-family developments, for example, to build two single family homes for the rich.
The article did not name one appeal involving me or CPV that supported the arguments made by
If anyone would like to contact me I’m happy to answer your questions, review the facts, and nce of
the numerous gross errors in the article. You can email me at [email protected]
Excerpt from email from the California Coastal Commission to the VeniceCurrent, dated June 1, 2021:
Dear Ms. Paige,
Today, California Coastal Commission staff became aware of the “article” at this link. Price of
Appeals by VNC Treasurer Candidate Robin Rudisill and CPV In Millions | News | venicecurrent.com
It includes entirely false statements purported to be quotes from Jack Ainsworth, the Coastal
Commission’s Executive Director. Remove these quotes and any reference to a “Coastal Commission”
investigation, since the unsigned “report” did not come from the Commission at all. We never issue
any unsigned allegations and did not issue this one.
We demand an immediate retraction and public acknowledgement that the quotes attributed to Mr.
Ainsworth in the original version of this article were false and misleading. We are bringing this
article to the attention of the Attorney General’s office and will be investigating our options to
pursue a libel action against this publication based on these false and defamatory statements.
Chief Counsel, California Coastal Commission 455 Market Street, Ste. 228
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 904-5227
Letter from Amanda Seward to the VeniceCurrent
From: Amanda Seward [email protected]
To: [email protected] [email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 11:28:23 AM PDT
Subject: June 1, 2021 article entitled Price of Appeals by VNC Treasurer Candidate Robin Rudisill and
CPV in Millions
Dear Ms. Paige, Venice Current:
I am writing in reference to the June 1, 2021 article entitled Price of Appeals by VNC Treasurer
Candidate Robin Rudisill and CPV in Millions and the false and defamatory statements contained therein
regarding Robin Rudisill and Citizens Preserving Venice (“CPV”).
One, your headline and the charge in the article that Ms. Rudisill and CPV have cost the City millions in
appeals and that each appeal costs the taxpayers $150,000 is a false statement. The city has reported
that an appeal costs the city $13,538. See: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-fee-hike-
Two, Ms. Rudisill is not an appellant in the appeal you discuss for the project at 811 and 815 Ocean
Front Walk. You further state that in 2014 CPV filed an appeal regarding this project. At that time, CPV
did not even exist. You also state that a 2014 project plan received a “nod” from the City, overlooking
that the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission found the project unlawful at that time and denied
Three, in the original version of this article, you quoted from a so-called “investigative report” that you
alleged came from the Coastal Commission and which included utterly false statements falsely
attributed to Jack Ainsworth, the Coastal Commission’s Executive Director. I understand that you have
now deleted these references after the Coastal Commission advised you that your charges were false
and defamatory and that they were bringing these false statements to the attention of the Attorney
General’s Office for further action. Yet you did not retract the statements or inform your readers that
they were totally false and defamatory and that the information you reported was based on a fraudulent
report. Nor did you issue an apology to Ms. Rudisill for these defamatory statements.
Four, the article continues to include statements from a biased so-called report from a Dario Rodman-
Alvarez from Pacific Urbanism alleging that appeals result in the displacement of residents, a decrease
in density, the suppression of housing supply and increase the homelessness rates. On what facts are
these statements based? Most appeals and certainly the appeals filed by Ms. Rudisill and CPV attempt
to preserve affordable housing, prevent the displacement of residents of Venice, and seek to maintain
density fighting developers who want to demolish four unit multi-family developments, for example, to
build two single family homes for the rich. What appeal has Ms. Rudisill or CPV filed that support the
arguments made by Mr. Rodman-Alvarez and repeated by you in the subject article?
Five, you charge Ms. Rudisill with moving forward with a project of her own illegally. To falsely charge
someone with an illegal act is defamatory. What project did she do illegally? You charge that in 2014
the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety was notified that Ms. Rudisill converted her property
on Ocean Front Walk from a rent stabilized duplex into a short stay hotel. Where is the record of a DBS
complaint regarding Ms. Rudisill in 2014? Or in 2015? Where is the record of any action taken by DBS
that Ms. Rudisill illegally converted her duplex to a 3rd story third unit on the property or that she
engaged in an illegal short term rental? You persisted in these charges even after the Coastal
Commission informed you that the source of those charges, the so-called “investigative report” you
relied on was fraudulent. There was an anonymous complaint in 2018 that falsely charged Ms. Rudisill
with an illegal occupant, hazardous electrical wiring and hazardous plumbing, but the DBS investigation
established these charges, based on an anonymous complaint, were false and that there was no basis
Six, you charge that CPV has been put on notice that the non-profit is delinquent with filing of paperwork
needed to maintain their nonprofit status. Anyone involved with a nonprofit can attest to the extensive
paperwork that is required and in this case the state merely said that the group had 60 days to file
additional paperwork and the additional paperwork requested was filed within the 60-day period, with no
Ms. Rudisill is an educated, respected professional. She has spent years serving the community and
building a positive reputation and the false and defamatory statements are particularly damaging
considering she is now running for a position on the Venice Community Council. You mention the
number of appeals you allege that Ms. Rudisill has filed, but overlook that community members have
relied on her expertise and sought her help to fight projects that they do not want in their community
because the projects, in their view, are not in compliance with the mass, scale, and character of the
surrounding community and because they displace their neighbors, such as in the case of the appeal of
the 742 Brooks project you mention, where the project was strongly opposed by the neighborhood and
by the Venice Neighborhood Council.. Not one of the appeals has personally benefited Ms. Rudisill or
been for her own personal gain. Your lack of fairness and the false and defamatory statements in the
article published at this time suggest an ulterior motive, that is to negatively impact her candidacy. The
article is vicious and will subject you to a defamatory action if not retracted immediately.
It is hereby demanded that the false statements as specified above be retracted immediately and that
the retraction be published in substantially as conspicuous a manner as were the false statements, as
required by Section 48a of the California Civil Code. In addition, it is strongly urged that you issue a
formal, public apology to both Ms. Rudisill and CPV.
I recommend that you consult with an attorney regarding this matter. If you or your attorney have any
questions, please contact me directly.
Nothing contained herein is intended as, nor should it be deemed to constitute, a waiver or
relinquishment of any of my clients’ rights or remedies, whether legal or equitable, all of which are
hereby expressly reserved.
Law Offices of Amanda Seward
3530 Moore Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 439-2422 – telephone